Lucretia D. Coke

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Lucretia Donnell Coke, pastel landscape and portrait painter and former art teacher is a second generation Texan who lived in Dallas most of her life. Lucretia Coke studied art under Frank Reaugh, the noted Longhorn cattle painter considered to be the Dean of Texas artists, and was his protégé teaching younger students under his direction.  For ten summers she was asked to join his month-long famous Sketch Trip to parts of West Texas and New Mexico.  It was a very rigorous disciplined program with four to five outdoor sketches each day under his tutelage.  The group of artists camped out and were able to paint scenes on private ranches not available to most.  Tule Canyon, Palo Duro Canyon, the Caprock, Double Mountain, and Medicine Mounds were some of their favorite campsites.  Lucretia kept the log book for many of these trips describing their daily adventures.

Two books, “Winged Clouds and Cobalt Skies”, “the 1930’s Frank Reaugh Sketch Trip Diaries of Lucretia Donnell” and “From Under A Mesquite Tree”, ”An Artist’s Life on the Texas Plains”, both edited by Gardner Smith and Robert Reitz, are important documents of her career during this period.  Lucretia attended the University of Texas and is a life-time alumnae and holds a degree in Art and

Education from Southern Methodist University.  After marrying Charles Bonner Newman of Long Island, New York, she moved there and attended the Art Student’s League in New York City, culminating with a solo exhibit in Manhasset, Long Island , New York.  After his untimely death in 1954, she moved back to Dallas with their children.  In 1963 she married Jack L. Coke, a Dallas attorney.

 

Lucretia Coke has exhibited at the Dallas Museum of Art with the Frank Reaugh Art Club, Texas Fine Arts, Sartor gallery of Dallas, the David Dike Fine Arts gallery, Artists and Craftsmen Association, and “The Mac”-McKinney Avenue Contemporary Art, in Dallas.  She is a member of the prestigious Pastel Society of the Southwest, based in Dallas.  In Austin, she has exhibited with the Palette Club, Capitol Arts Society, Lake Travis Arts League, Austin Woman’s Club Member’s Exhibit, and was exhibited and represented by Warm River Gallery.

 

Lucretia Coke’s portraits and landscapes hang in the homes of many fine people in Texas, Georgia, Montana, New York, Illinois and in other states.  She even has two portraits with Texas backgrounds in Paris, France!  Her painting “Echo’s of the Comanche” hangs in the Texas Artist’s Gallery of The Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas.  She is listed in the Dictionary of Texas Artists 1800-1945, compiled by Paula L. and Michael R. Grauer.  Recently in late 2009, she was honored with a retrospective exhibit titled “Timeless Style” of her paintings at the main downtown Dallas Public Library. 

 

In 1990 she and her husband moved to Austin to be near her favorite portrait subjects, her grandchildren, the children of Dr. James K. Pohl and Bonnie, her daughter, the former Lucretia Bonner Newman of Dallas.

 

Also, in Austin is the important Frank Reaugh Collection “Paintings of the Southwest” which Mrs. Coke as one of the Trustees of his estate was instrumental in giving to “The University of Texas” to be permanently exhibited.  The University was proud to accept and exhibit this historical art treasure to great success showing the Longhorn cattle drives and scenes of early Texas painted when the Longhorn ran wild.  However, this mother lode of early Texas art has been put in storage at the Harry Ransom Center.

 

Recently Lucretia moved from her home of twenty years to the Village at the Arboretum and is happy that her apartment studio windows overlook the beautiful hill country and the vast skies of Texas that she loves to paint.